The train is packed. I secure a seat, only for an announcement to declare that my destination required me to be in a different carriage. As I get up & being to move, I acquire a ‘railway orphan’ – a person of whatever age who clearly doesn’t use trains often & wants to be sure that they’re in the right place (or at times even on the right train!). The railway orphan & I find seats further down. We talk a bit. I knit a bit. I read a bit of my new book. I look at the three Home Counties commuters opposite. Anonymous looking men in suits, all harassed, all tapping away on Blackberries. No amount of money can compensate for how miserable they look. I look out the window, at the perfect summer’s evening outside. How can there be that many shades of green in the world?
Further down the line, the railway orphan & I move down the carriages again, ending up sat among three bank managers returning from a training course. They mistake us for a married couple. We all play ‘I-pod Charades’ – my mime skills fortunately compensating for my inability to work the I-pod. The bank managers buy wine for us all. It’s hilarious fun but as we all get off our very own love train, I decline their offer to share their night out – the pains in my chest have finally caused alarm.